Saturday, November 15, 2003

Green Eggs and Hammond

Its quite obvious that Steve Hammond, representing the 9th district in the King County council, reads this blog. How else to explain that, two days after mentioning that the new development down the road has pretty much trashed 196th street, a road crew has patched the entire matter up with a new asphalt cover, and got rid of the metal plates and the potholes.

Yes, it could be that the road was so reduced to rubble that construction equipment risked breaking axles on it. Or that someone else with a little bit of real political pull might make 196th their standard commute and just happen to have Steve's home phone. Or even that they were scheduled to do it. But I prefer to wallow in self-deception on this one, connecting two random occurances and calling it a victory.


So this morning I went downtown for the Fifth Annual Seattle Cooks! Gourmet Food & Kitchen Show. It was in the Washington State Convention Center, which most people know as the building that turns I-5 into a tunnel right after I-90 runs into it.

This was a mixed bag, a full convention hall of food-related things. There were a couple restaurants (Icon Grill, Ray's Boathouse), a lot of small foodstuffs companies (Sausages, cheeses, and way too many rubs, oils, and herbal drizzles), representatives of basic food groups (The might Beef Council down through Discover Duck and the Pacific Shellfish Growers Association, to Egg-land, which is a franchise of premium egg-producers). Kitchen equipment (fridges down to cutlery), Dishware (original ceramics and Polish Kitchen pottery), and deserts (they had a new Chocolates stage). And then there were the weird ones - Steamers, jewelers, the Post-Intelligencer, and talk-radio 570 KVI (yeah, right-wing talker Sean Hannity always makes ME hungry for a good salmon rub) that you can only figure are there because they bought space in the program.

The talks were pretty cool - I missed the one on Kobe beef (though not the line for people wanting a free sample), but caught a good one on short ribs and one on a shrimp dish that made me purchase the cookbook (that, a loaf of fennel-seed bread and a whim purchase of hot chili teriyaki sauce were my only outlays. OK, admission and parking as well). The free samples (see above for oils, rubs, and drizzles, which one marketer has christened "Finishing Sauces"). One booth was doing a hot oil that blasted most people's tastebuds for anything else. I think an ice cream shop doing sorbets would have cleaned up here.

The best free sample, by the way, was macaroni and cheese from the Icon Grill. I got the recipe and it is much more involved than your standard Kraft box-o-pasta. But it was really, really good. If I make it I'll tell you.

The crowd was mostly my age or older - general food network groupies (Borders had a booth with cookbooks for most of the current hotnesses - Alton Brown, Emeril, and local fave Kathy Casey (who's cookbook I picked up, though from her booth instead of the big box bookseller)). The crowd was also both polite and maladroit, from the amount of times someone nibbling on a Moroccan Olive body-checked me into the Honest Tea booth. It was pleasant, and good way to spend a couple hours.

More later,